Friday, April 11, 2008

TechMaine Fund

I received this email today and thought I would pass it along to anyone who thinks having technology entrepreneurs in Maine is important:

Hi Cade,

Maine needs additional financing vehicles to attract new companies and ideas and to fund and retain our current entrepreneurs. We are entering the last days of Maine's current legislative session and one of the remaining bills is the TechMaine initiative for the creation of a private equity Venture Capital Fund of Funds to support Maine's technology entrepreneurs and grow Maine's economy. Maine can secure a competitive advantage in New England by implementing a Fund of Fund investment vehicle.

The legislation is titled:
LR 3568: An Act To Attract New Capital for Innovative Businesses through Equity Investment in Maine

WE NEED YOUR HELP ensuring this important legislation becomes enacted! We need you to take action and contact your legislators to let them know your support for this initiative. We've created a Website at to supply you additional information and help through the process of reaching out to your elected officials.

Contacting your legislator is vital! On most issues, legislators and other elected officials receive very little input from their constituents. This seems to be especially true of technological issues.

Being contacted by even just a few voters is often enough to mold or shift a legislator's stance on an issue, especially if they have not had much voter contact on that issue before. Every e-mail and call is important.

Please visit today, spread the word, and help create a new vehicle to grow Maine's economy!

Joe Kumiszcza

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How OneHut Burned Me

Two years ago I began working as a freelance Web designer. My intentions were not to make big bucks, but to help people and organizations out who could not afford to hire their own designer while gaining experience. Having little experience with Web hosts, I referred to the results of several Web host ranking Web sites. I thought I made a good choice when my research turned up OneHut, a very affordable host with average customer service and a non-WYSIWYG interface.

I was a fairly happy customer for several years. Customer service was not entirely responsive and when they did fix an issues, they were not very good at communicating that to me. But, I figured I got what I paid for.

Well, did I ever get it.

This past weekend all of the sites I manage went down, and did not come back. With the help from a friend and a little research I soon realized that OneHut went out of business without warning any of their customers. Not only have I lost all of the pages and assets to several sites (including over two years of work on my brother-in-law's Web site), but it appears that good ole OneHut registered my domains in what I am guess is their parent company's name. As a result I might not be able to transfer my clients' domain names.

Research uncovered this blog by another unhappy customer, this forum string on the Web site of the user interface OneHut used (the only feature with which I was content), these reviews from unhappy customers, and the Better Business Bureau's report on the company.

With little else to do, I decided to try to contact the company with which my domains were registered, That URL directed me to (with a little more research I discovered that these urls do as well:,, I spoke with customer service and they directed me to contact and said they will set me up with access to manage my domains (which is strange because names4ever directed me to After not hearing from them for four days, today I emailed customer support at retelling my tragic story and hoping for a little serious direction.

Now, I am no expert on the clientèle of Web hosts, but upon googling "ABACUS America scam" (ABACUS America being the company that owns names4ever, and apparently the names sake of and, I was returned a long list of escrow scam sites, all hosted by said ABACUS company. For some reason I don't think I will be getting any help from this company, and in the end its my clients and my reputation that will suffer.

Let this be a warning to all out there thinking of finding a cheap Web host. Go with a trusted name, it's worth the extra cost.